An event is A MicroContent structure that allows a user to describe a happening that takes place at a certain time and venue.
Another application, BusySync, that does syncing calendars came in the news today, thanks to the Eddy they just won. So an opportunity to try it out. This application does a bit more than the Calaboration application that I just looked at. BusyMac allows for syncing of iCal calendars on your local network and between different users on a single machine.
This application installs itself as a preference-pane, which seems second best location. The best would be an installation within iCal itself, but I guess iCal does not support these kind of extensions.
In the preference-pane the user can specify which of the calendars must be published (read and/or write access) and one can subscribe to published calendars on the network. It also allows for publishing and subscribing to Google calendars. Makes you wonder about interference with Calaboration.
And the preference pane allows you to reset the things, start afresh and resolve conflicts. Which shows that syncing remains a difficult business.
I just downloaded, installed and ran Calaboration. This small application creates a Caldev-link between the iCal application and Google Calendar. I am not a Google calendar user, but as far as I can see, calendars that have been defined in Google Calendar will be created in iCal as well.
Then one can create an event in either iCal or Google Calendar and the two calendars will be synchronised.
I do not know how well it works, but it made me thinking about replication, duplication and synchronisation of MicroContent. Should dive into this a bit.
The TimeLine application by Bee Docs is an interesting application. It reminded me of the role of time in MicroContent, but hat should be a future post.
In TimeLine one can either import MicroContent Items or create one’s own. A TimeLine Item consists of a title, a date (or a date range), notes (optional), an image (optional) and a link (optional).
On creating a new TimeLine it is possible to import Items from the AddressBook (birthdays), iCal (a selected calendar), iPhoto (creation dates), iTunes (recently playes songs/albums), RSS/Atom feeds, System Profiler (recent Apple updates), Skitch and NetNewsWire (publish dates). And when Images are available they are shown on the timeline.
The timeline is one of the presentation modes for MicroContent. The other are the table, the grid and location.
All in all very interestying. Unfortunately I did not have a need yet for such visualisation. The application si a bit rough at times. I had a few stalls that required me to force quit the app. I would like to see the possibility to import events at a later stage and on the secondary timeline. And I guess there other Items that could be imported as well, a Framework to do this would be in place, although the generic RSS/Atom helps a lot. And I woulk like to see a zoom possibility, so that I can see the entire timeline in a single screen.
[Inspiration Knitting for Dummies]
[Inspiration Michael Arrington]
This service allows multiple users to plan an event. The initial user will define the event, the title, place, time and attendees. Then attendees can suggest other places, times and attendees. It is like collaboratively build a MicroContent Item. I assume that the original planner has all the control and can make the final decision and lock things down.
Vander Wal describes how at the SXSW-conference the program was published through ical. Isn’t this a nice example of Enterprise MicroContent?
Peter Caputa thinks that he understands what the place of Events MicroContent will be in the world. As I am not very much into events and I what to extend any MicroContent idea to all possible types of MicoContent, I read his post with attention.
He is right that MicroContent are at the moment just silo’s of information. I have create multiple blogs, each for a different type of MicroContent or subject. All my blogs together mimic my personal interests. Sort-of my brand. I made the blogs available in RSS for repurposing by aggregators. And that is where it stops at the moment. How should I code various types of MicroContent into RSS? I do not know, so I made some assumptions. Also my current blog service provider does not allow me much flexibility with RSS. So we still dream about the future services. And Peter Caputa is even dreaming of combining multiple types of MicroContent into a single service. That indeed would be great.
I have no idea what these guys are doing (interoperable Calendaring and Scheduling). I will have a look.
I read this weblog entry by Jon Udell. He is exploring the possibilities to import event data through CSV and iCal. It is a difficult procedure. He says:
Why are we in this terrible mess? It seems to me that the Net has yet to embrace ubiquitous sharing of any kind of structured data. Weblogs as we know them today take two steps in the right direction. They make it easy to share unstructured information. It’s now as trivial as it should be to post some text up on the Web at an URL that anybody else can access. Weblogs also make it easy to share a very specialized kind of structured data. The items we post are wrapped in XML metadata can be aggregated and mined. We call this wrapper RSS.
I am not sure wrapper RSS is the right method, but clearly something must be done about the situation.
Peter blogs about OpenEvents. He discusses the dangers of OpenEvents for his business. Having some events only on your website (exclusivity) might be a competitive advantage. I think that here lies a conflict of interest between the event organiser and the aggregator. The event organiser wants to fill his event to the max and thus wants his event promoted to the max. Why should he want an exclusive deal with the aggregator? Maybe if the aggregator pays for it and uses the event for advertising purposes. In this sense events are not normal content. Event-data is only the metadata about the event and is more similar to advertisements. The event itself is here the real content. So the question is who pays for what here. As an event organiser, read advertiser, I would like to have an OpenEvents standard, as it allows me to advertise my event better. I guess event organiser should get involved here.
The aggregators should not work on exclusivity. Their core competence should be completeness and accessibility.
Marc Canter comments on the RSS-feed of RSS-calendar. I fully agree with him. This is shit. This is just a weblog with a description of events and the description includes date, place, start- and endtime. This is a very lame attempt to create an event-RSS standard. I want at least the date, location, start and end time in separate XML-tags. And probably more. I did not yet think about it, but there is undoubtedly more standardised already.
And there is a difference between an event and a calendar. A calendar is an aggregation of events. And I might like to subscribe to a single event and not the whole calendar.